Drug addict NASCAR driver trying to come back
NASCAR driver Aaron Fike understands where he was headed when he was arrested while shooting up heroin in an amusement park parking lot this summer.
"After four months of intense rehabilitation, I know that if it were not for my arrest, I would be dead,'' he said. "At one point during my addiction, I stopped breathing and nearly died. Sooner or later, my luck would have run out.''
Fike's remarks came in a rehab plan he wrote for a Warren County, Ohio, judge. The judge accepted Fike's proposal to avoid jail by going to schools and racetracks to deliver an anti-drug message. Fike may find it harder to persuade NASCAR to let him race again.
Fike was eighth in the point standings and in the running for Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year when he was arrested with his fiancée in the Kings Island parking lot outside Cincinnati in July.
Security officers observed what looked like suspicious activity in Fike's sport utility vehicle. Mason police found bloody napkins, syringes, a spoon and black tar heroin in the SUV. Fike and Cassandra Davidson were charged with possession of heroin, a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
NASCAR suspended Fike indefinitely and Red Horse Racing replaced him in the No. 1 Toyota Tundra with veteran driver David Green.
"One day, I was a NASCAR race car driver, with people asking me for my autograph, and the next day I was in handcuffs, lying on the floor of a jail cell, going through the absolute agony of heroin withdrawal,'' Fike wrote in the proposal the judge accepted Nov. 6.
Fike told The Associated Press on Tuesday he began taking prescription painkillers about six years ago because of back injuries and a broken right wrist and gradually moved up to oxycodone, commonly known under the brand name OxyContin.
While "hanging around the wrong environment,'' Fike said he began using heroin last December.
"I was sporadic in my use. It wasn't every day,'' the 25-year-old driver said. "I made sure I was clean when I went to the track. But it was definitely consuming my life.'' More at Indy Star